Art Exhibition and Social Work Continuing Education Event

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Homelessness and Animal Companionship in Toledo and Nationally

Held in partnership between University of Toledo’s (UT) Social Work Program and My Dog is My Home


Exhibit open for viewing from 5PM - 8PM

Continuing Education presentation from 6PM - 8PM

Presentation attendees are eligible to receive 2 social work CEUs.


Cherry Street Mission Ministries' Life Revitalization Center

1501 Monroe Street

2nd floor library

Toledo, OH 43604


Exhibit Overview:

My Dog is My Home, a national organization dedicated to increasing shelter and housing access for homeless people with companion animals, is bringing a pop-up version of its landmark art exhibition to Toledo, OH. Featuring photographs, paintings, and historical prints, the show illuminates the life-saving and often misunderstood bond between homeless people and their pets. The organization’s founder and director, Christine Kim, curated the show for the Los Angeles based Animal Museum in 2013. My Dog is My Home continues to use the exhibit as a tool to start discussions with communities across the country about creating resources for homeless pet owners.

The exhibition will be on view at Cherry Street Mission Ministries' Life Revitalization Center’s library hall on Monday, October 2, from 5PM - 8PM. A special social work continuing education presentation on the topic of homelessness and animal companionship in Toledo and nationally will be taking place in the inside the library from 6PM - 8PM. Both components of the evening are free and open to the public, with the exception of a processing fee for attendees interested in obtaining social work CEUs. The exhibition will remain open and on view while the presentation is taking place.  


Presentation Overview:

On February 18, 2017, My Dog is My Home (MDIMH), the University of Toledo's (UT) Social Work Program, Humane Ohio, Toledo’s PET Bull Project, and Toledo Area Humane Society partnered to bring free services to companion animals of the homeless. While the event was designed to deliver services that directly benefitted animals, one of the service fair objectives was to document the unique human needs and circumstances that present themselves in human-animal homelessness. As previous research shows, when faced with a "no pets allowed" rule in shelter and housing, people experiencing homelessness will often forego these services to care for their furry family members.

But the narrative of Toledo's population has yet to be told. With the location-specific data that researchers from My Dog is My Home and the UT Social Work Program collected from the service fair, we can begin to paint a more nuanced picture of the state of homelessness and animal companionship in Toledo, including what local providers can do to bridge the gap in services. The UT Social Work Program and My Dog is My Home will be presenting the findings at at a social work continuing education (CE) event which will be held at Cherry Street Mission Ministries’ Life Revitalization Center in downtown Toledo. The event will be composed of two parts -- (1) an art exhibition and (2) a formal CE presentation. Attendees are eligible to receive 2 social work CEUs from the event.

All parts of the event will be open and free to the public; however, only the presentation will count as a CE activity. For attendees who wish to obtain social work CEUs, My Dog is My Home will be charging a processing fee and requires pre-registration. For registration information, please visit the Eventbrite page linked below.


CEU Registration: Click here


Contact Information:

For CEU related inquiries

University of Toledo College of Health and Human Services

Social Work Program in the School of Social Justice



For all other inquiries

My Dog is My Home


We believe that strategies for addressing homelessness and animal companionship should be informed by the local context, so My Dog is My Home used the February 18th service fair as an opportunity to better understand the Toledo-specific experience of human-animal homelessness. Attendees were given an opportunity to participate in a brief interview and questionnaire that will help us assess existing and needed local resources. The Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board has also joined the effort to quantify homeless animal guardianship by adding a question regarding pet ownership to their homeless PIT count survey.

From the data we collected, we understand that most people who attended were "doubled up" or "couch surfing" rather than staying in a shelter. Other important themes will be revealed as we continue data analysis. Please check back for a full report on the service fair outcomes in spring 2017.

To have qualified for entry into the service fair, attendees must have meet one of the following predetermined HUD, HHS, or My Dog is My Home criteria for homelessness. Attendees were asked to check all that applied.

The Research

The Service Fair

The Toledo, OH service fair was a 1-day event that was organized to provide free vaccines, minor medical exams and treatment, animal care supplies, grooming, and basic dog training to the companion animals of the homeless. Animal guardians also had the opportunity to pick up winter items such as gloves, hats, and extra socks. 

We served 10 family units, which included 9 dogs, 2 cats, and 1 guinea pig. 

Date: Saturday, February 18, 2017
Time: 1: 30 PM - 4:30 PM
Location: Cherry Street's Life Revitalization Center (1501 Monroe Street, Toledo, OH)

See photographs and video in the news coverage of our event.

Download the flyer.


Our partners

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Grooming provided by Jessica Pacynski

Co-Sheltering Solutions

Our approach to systems change is to base our actions on data. The co-sheltering solutions will be formulated over time and founded on the results of the research phase. Please check back in summer 2017 for a report on the co-sheltering recommendations and our progress on implementation.